Friday, June 3, 2016

Museum Wishlist

The Spencerport Depot & Canal Museum is starting to actively collect new objects so we are able to keep our displays fresh each year. We would appreciate any donations of objects that fit within our collections policy for the museum. If you have something on our wish list that you would like to donate please contact our director Nora Venezky to discuss your donation either at or at 585-352-0942.

We also have some items that we could use around the museum:
Pick-nick Table/ bench
Outdoor Adirondack/rocking chairs
Travel size toiletries
printer paper

What we are collecting:

Local History Artifacts related to Spencerport/Ogden
  • Businesses
  • Important people
  • Farming
  • Spencerport Schools
  • Erie Canal/Boats
    • Tools
    • Models
    • Boat parts
    • Pictures
    • Postcards
    • Businesses related
    • Lanterns
    • buoy
    • mem-orabilia
  • Trolley (RLBRR)
    • Workers tools
    • Spikes
    • memorabilia
  • Train (New York Central Falls view Branch)
    • Worker tools/uniforms
    • Spikes
    • Train parts
    • Lanterns
    • memorabilia
  • Car/Automobile (531)
    • License plates
    • Road signs
    • memorabilia
  • Bicycles
    • Bike parts
    • Cycle the Erie Canal
    • memorabilia
  • Travel
    • Old trunks/luggage
    • Old maps
  • Telephones
  • Typewriters
  • Old radios
  • Small black and white TV
  • Telegraph machines
  • Printing press/moveable type
  • Butter churn
  • Spinning wheel
  • Farming Tools
    • Apple picking
    • Cabbage farming
    • Potato harvesting
  • Ice Tongs
  • Milk Bottles (Morgan/Pisher/ Local)
  • Old Photographs
  • General store goods (old food containers/ medicine, jars, scale, etc.)
  • Other old household antiques (washboard,
  • Games (cup and ball, hoop and stick, Jacobs ladder)

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

McCabe Lumberyard

McCabe Lumberyard
Before the Village Plaza in Spencerport became home to a succession of grocery stores it was home to J. B. McCabe & Son Lumberyard.
Ogden was a heavily forested area when the first settlers arrived in 1802. As the population began to grow and trees were cleared it became necessary to establish lumberyards in order to turn raw wood into smooth planks that could be used to build homes, furniture, boats, and more. Several lumberyards would exist in Spencerport in the 19th and 20th century, including McCabe’s.
John B. McCabe, a contractor and builder, moved from Ridge Road to Spencerport in 1889 to continue his business. By 1892, he started dealing in builders’ supplies and leased some of the land between Slayton Ave. and the Canal. When John’s son, Lawrence, joined him in 1902 he purchased the land, built many sheds, and opened his lumberyard. Later his younger son, Clifford, would join them and they created the J.B. McCabe & Son partnership. After John’s death in 1928, the lumber yard continued to operate as a business till 1948 when it was sold to Henry Rutland, who made it into Spencerport Lumber Company.
J.B. McCabe in his office
Between 1905 and 1918 New York State was busy enlarging the Erie Canal into the present day Barge Canal. McCabe Lumber Yard would provide materials for its construction and was also awarded contracts in Spencerport and Holley to build temporary terminal warehouses used during its construction. The McCabe’s would also build many of the homes in the Village of Spencerport. They built primarily on West Avenue and were also responsible for building the Masonic Temple, several school houses, and many local barns. 

Since the time of McCabe Lumberyard, the Village Plaza has transformed significantly to include places to shop and eat. This transformation reflects the transformation of Spencerport from a bustling canal town that was a port for shipping goods and raw materials to a quaint suburb of Rochester offering shopping and restaurants and lots of wonderful resources to travelers and tourists along the canal. 

The Erie Canal Marks A 200th Anniversary | The New York History Blog

The Erie Canal Marks A 200th Anniversary | The New York History Blog

Monday, February 22, 2016

this is a456: Confidence Men

A history of the Antonelli Amunitions Factory in Spencerport. It started as a firework factory, and during WWII it received government contracts to produce grenades and incendiary bombs, but as a result of rushed production, and producing bombs with faulty charges they got in trouble with the FBI. Learn more in this great blog post: this is a456: Confidence Men

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Day 1: Lockport to Spencerport

Now that I have had a little time to catch up on my museum responsibilities I can finally sit down and reflect on my trip and share my experience in a little more detail.

Day 1: Lockport to Spencerport

The first day of my adventure I went 55 miles from Lockport to Spencerport. I was supposed to have company on the first leg of my journey but all my friends were busy so I biked it alone. It was still a great day, but it definitely helps to have company along the way. Our Team Driver, Steve, who carried all our gear the whole way, dropped me off in Lockport where I started my amazing journey.
We stopped into the visitor center and Erie Canal Discovery Center quick for a bathroom stop. I went to Lockport last fall for their Locktober Festival, which was a lot of fun. During that trip I was able to explore the Erie Canal Discovery Center, they have a great immersive video and lock experience, which is definitely worth checking out. It is a neat little museum and the staff is all very friendly. I also recommend checking out their restored locks in Lockport where they are working to restore the original flight of five.

I parted ways with Steve and started heading east towards home in Spencerport. It was a perfect day for biking, the weather was warm and sunny. It was a little windy, but it cooled you off as you were biking.
The first little village that I reached after leaving Lockport, was Gasport. Unfortunately this part of the journey took place on a Sunday so many of the little shops and businesses in town were closed. I did a quick bike around town, but it was rather quiet. I will be going this Thursday (aka tomorrow) from Spencerport to Buffalo so it will be interesting to see the difference in these places during the week. 

The next stop along the way was Middleport, again most things were closed. But they had some cute little shops that I would love to go back and check out. 

I took a lunch break in Medina, where I happened to time it perfectly and met up with Steve, who was exploring the area on his way home.  

I had lunch at the Country Club Family Restaurant where I also met those two lovely bikers in the picture above. I passed them earlier on the path, and would continue to run into them all along on the way to Spencerport. They were biking from Lockport to Brockport, where they live. They are working on doing the whole Erie Canal trail section by section and are hoping to finish by the end of the summer. 
Next Stop, Medina Railroad Museum. What a wonderful collection of railroad memorabilia, model railroads, and many more great artifacts. I was fortunate enough to meet Martin Phelps, founder and director of the museum. I had a great time talking with him about how he started this collection himself, bought the building and created his own museum. He is a wealth of knowledge and a great advocate for the preservation of our rail history. 

One cause he is working on is saving the railroad bridge in Letchworth State Park...for more informaiton check out this link:

After a nice break in Medina I continued on my way east. Just outside of Medina are some cool features. There is a beautiful waterfall as you go down the towpath east of Medina.

There is also one spot along the Erie Canal that you can go under it, it is just outside of Medina. A very neat experience to be able to walk under the canal.

I didn't Spend any time in Knowelsville, but I snapped a picture of the bridge!

 The next big town along the way is Albion. Every time I bike there It seems like it has to be so close and you go around another bend, and you still are not quite there. It is a cute little town, again I wish more was open that day. The historic architecture was beautiful along their main street.

The next little stop along the way was at the bike shop in Hulberton, Trailside Bicycles. It is a great little shop that sells everything a biker could want, including cold water! Chris, the owner was super nice and knowledgeable. If you ever are biking this section of the canal stop in and say 'hello'!
As I got closer to home I stopped less, since I have been biking this stretch of the canal a lot in the past few weeks in preparation for this big adventure. I made a quick stop in Holley to fill up on water. They have done a great job with their canal front, they have showers and pick-nick areas as well as a lovely park. If you have time checking out the falls is a neat adventure when you are visiting. 
Once I made it to Brockport I knew I was in the home stretch with only another 7.5 miles till I hit Spencerport. They also have a little visitor center, and if you need a bike to do some traveling along the canal, they have a bike rental program where you are able to borrow one. I always recommend stopping at the Stoneyard for a drink and some food, they brew their own beers, and have a great selection of craft brews on tap. Their food is also amazing!
It was a great day of biking and it was nice to be able to finish at home where I could stop at my favorite place in Spencerport, McColley's Irish Pub, for a drink with my friends and family. It was a great way to end the day!

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Bike Trip: Days 4-5

Can't believe I have made it this far, we made it to Lock 21 outside of Rome today. We then drove back to Sylvan Beach to spend the night. We will be back at the lock in the morning to continue our journey.

Day 4:
We biked from Seneca Falls to Syracuse, which was 44 miles. It was quite a hot day, but we made it! We started by exploring the museums around Seneca Falls. We stopped at the Womens Rights National Heritage Park Visitor Center and the Seneca Falls Visitor Center/ Museum of Waterways and Industry. We then biked through Montezuma Wildlife Refuge to Port Byron to see the progress of Lock 52 that you can now access from the Thruway (its shaping up to be a really neat site). We had lunch in Weedsport and made our way into Syracuse where we spent the night. We enjoyed Empire Brewing Company for dinner and drinks and had a great nights sleep at our hotel.

Day 5:  Syracuse to Lock 21 outside of Rome, 38 miles. Today was a gorgeous day for a ride with cool weather and lots of great museums. We started the day in Syracuse at the Onondaga Historical Association and the Erie Canal Museum (Both great institutions with lots of great objects and exhibits). We then rode to Chittenango Landing Canal Boat Museum to see their excavated dry docks. Out next stop after that was Canastota where we were able to sneak in a quick visit at the Canastota Canal Town Museum before they closed for the day. We biked to Lock 21 to complete our biking for the day then drove back to Sylvan Beach to spend the night. 

I met up with Vicki from the Erie Canal Museum, who does a wonderful job running their social media.